YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki Addresses Platform Concerns, Vows Clarity

Asa Mathat for Vox Media

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki channeled a bit of Samuel L. Jackson in her latest quarterly blog post, to wit: she is a righteous woman beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

While Wojcicki didn’t exactly threaten to strike down upon thee with great vengeance, she did raise issues of copyright challenges. The blog attempted to address the concerns of her video artists, many of whom feel beset themselves by the company’s policies, specifically the perception that YouTube spotlights more traditional content from well-known media outlets rather than small company creations.

YouTube has struggled this year with some site content. It had to deal with issues regarding videos about minors, drew fire for suppressing conservative commentator comment, and had to deal with the fallout from hosting the New Zealand mosque massacre video footage.

Thus, it was no surprise that Wojcicki’s blog focused on “managing our role as a platform responsibly,”  calling it her “top priority.”

Wojcicki also said that creators have asked her for clarity on community guidelines and better representation in the site’s list of trending videos. They’ve also asked for better ways of addressing copyright claims that take down their products.

To address those issues, Wojcicki promised more bureaucracy to help with rules compliance. She also said that the company’s goal in trending is to have “at least half the videos on trending come from YouTubers (with the remainder coming from music and traditional media), something we’re close to already but will expand on.”

Finally, Wojcicki raised her concerns about Article 13 (now renamed Article 17) — a part of the copyright directive that recently passed in the E.U.

“While we support the rights of copyright holders—YouTube has deals with almost all the music companies and TV broadcasters today—we are concerned about the vague, untested requirements of the new directive. It could create serious limitations for what YouTube creators can upload. This risks lowering the revenue to traditional media and music companies from YouTube and potentially devastating the many European creators who have built their businesses on YouTube.”

Wojcicki promised to help creators adjust to the new laws and push back where needed.

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